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Illinois Lottery Encourages Players To Be Smart, Play Smart

March 7th, 2023

Lottery Supports Problem Gambling Awareness Month

CHICAGO, March 7, 2023 - In support of Problem Gambling Awareness Month, the Illinois Lottery is dedicating the month of March to promote responsible play by encouraging players to: “Be Smart, Play Smart.” 

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and the Illinois Lottery is once again joining forces with the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling (ICPG) to help raise awareness of problem gambling resources, services and treatment.

Throughout March, the Illinois Lottery is increasing public awareness statewide through various activities and platforms, including radio spots, billboard messaging, digital and social media, and direct communications to players and lottery retailers. 

“For the majority of adults, gambling can be a fun and entertaining experience, but for a small percentage of players, it can become more than a game,” said Harold Mays, Director of the Illinois Lottery. “During Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and throughout the year, the Illinois Lottery is committed to raising awareness about what problem gambling is, and most importantly, the resources that are available to get help.”

Problem Gambling Awareness Month, organized by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), is a grassroots effort that brings together a wide range of stakeholders – public health organizations, advocacy groups and gambling operators – who work collaboratively to let people know that hope and help exist for those adversely affected by gambling.

“Problem gambling can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity. But the good news is that problem gambling is treatable, and treatment is effective in minimizing gambling-related harm,” said Bill Johnson, ICPG Administrator. “Learn to spot the warning signs of a gambling problem, and then seek out organizations like ICPG or NCPG for information, resources, and support. Hope and help is just a phone call away.”

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER for help. The helpline is a 24-hour service that connects callers to information, counseling, and support. Helpline staff are also available by live chat at or by texting "GAMBLER" to 833234.

The Illinois Lottery encourages players to learn more about how to keep the Lottery as a fun form of entertainment by visiting the responsible gaming page on the Illinois Lottery website: Illinois Lottery Responsible Gaming.


About the Illinois Lottery

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $24 billion (since 1985) to the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund and to special causes. For more information, visit

About the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling:

ICPG’s mission is to increase public awareness about gambling disorder, provide information and resources related to treatment for those with a gambling disorder and their families, promote research, and develop and implement gambling disordered education and prevention programs in the State of Illinois. For more information, visit